[R-G] Chicago Tribune: Bring pressure on Chavez
mstainsby at resist.ca
Sun Mar 14 23:55:39 MST 2004
I plucked this off the Venezuela Today email list, run by Walter Lippmann
(I believe). I include his introductory remarks on the email, and concur
with the startlment at their seeming brazen-ness.
Everytime you think you've seen so much imperialist gobbledy-gook that you
can't be taken aback, something like this...
This is an amazing comment from the Chicago Tribune:
"The question may come down to this: Will Chavez be
removed through constitutional means or unconstitu-
tional means?" Not a word is mentioned here about
the evaluation of the petitions by Venezuela's
National Electoral Commission which determined that
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of the signatures were forged.
Therefore the Chicago Tribune wants this referendum
to go on whether the signatures are valid or now.
This is the way Washington plans to impose its idea
of democracy on Venezuela, as we're already seeing
it demonstrated in Afghanistan, Iraq and Haiti.)
Bring pressure on Chavez
March 13, 2004
Despite an encouraging spread of free elections across
Latin American and the Caribbean in the last two decades,
recent events show democracy remains a fragile proposition
Since 1999, seven elected leaders in the region have been
forced out of office before the end of their terms. Haiti's
President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was the most recent.
Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozado was forced out
in October after six days of protests against his
pro-American positions. Protests, some violent, have undone
Paraguay's Raul Cubas, Ecuador's Jamil Mahuad, Peru's
Alberto Fujimori and Argentina's Fernando De la Rua.
Who's next? Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is the front-running
candidate, given the turmoil that has roiled Caracas for
the last two years. An alliance of political, labor and
business groups has been trying to oust the increasingly
despotic leader. Chavez and his cronies have defied a
massive recall petition drive and waged a government
crackdown against protests.
Instability in Venezuela poses an ominous economic threat
to the U.S. because Venezuela is this country's leading
supplier of oil. The Venezuelan crisis also poses the
latest manifestation of a continuing quandary: How does one
handle democratically elected leaders who turn
In this case, the answer may be fairly easy. Venezuela has
a constitutional means to decide the fate of its president.
Chavez has thwarted the overwhelmingly broad public effort
to use that constitutional means to remove him. Leaders
throughout the region need to bring all the pressure they
can on Chavez to allow his citizens to vote on his fate.
The question may come down to this: Will Chavez be removed
through constitutional means or unconstitutional means?
Chavez has so far thwarted the recall efforts. But polls
show as many as 70 percent of the population want him to
go. Chavez's government could hardly conceal its
embarrassment over the March 4 resignation of Milos
Alcalay, Venezuela's envoy to the United Nations. The
ambassador resigned to protest Chavez's crackdown and his
government's rejection of more than one million signatures
on petitions seeking his recall.
Meanwhile, constant strikes, marches and clashes between
Chavez's foes and supporters have greased the country's
slide into economic collapse.
Venezuela's problems are too big for its neighbors to
ignore. The U.S. can ill-afford a continuing crisis with a
major supplier of this nation's oil. The hemisphere cannot
hardly afford more instability in another democracy.
The U.S., the Organization of American States and prominent
Venezuelan neighbors like Brazil's President Luiz Inacio
Lula da Silva need to press Chavez to hold a referendum on
his recall, as allowed by his constitution and demanded by
Copyright C 2004, Chicago Tribune
In the contradiction lies the hope
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